Monday, September 3, 2018

Taking a digital sabbatical

You may be wondering why I haven't been writing on my blog since the beginning of summer along with taking several weeks off all my social media.  I decided that I needed a digital sabbatical.  Modern connection technology has given us the ability to become more connected but less have less humanity.  We are always engaged but increasingly isolated.  Modern technology provides the following:

  • Community:  We can connect and find a tribe.
  • Communication:  Ease and ability to communicate especially with long distance relationships.
  • Self-Improvement:  We use technology for motivation and inspiration along with education.  You can learn how to practice yoga, cook, speak a different language or learn a new skill.
  • Awareness: We now have world events at our fingertips in an instant.
  • Exposure:  We can discover new items and enrich our lives.  
However, with all these wonderful items come the following losses:

  • Time:  We get online to check email, social media and we lose valuable time.
  • Empathy:  We lose our lose human aspects to see people as people with real feelings.
  • Action:  We click on "like" but do we really ever do anything about issues anymore.
  • Downtime:  We are always "on" and do we ever feel that we have downtime or time to discern.
  • Confidence:  Social media is exhausting and leaves us comparing ourselves to others.  Are we ever good enough anymore?
  • Focus:  We use the internet to distract us instead of focusing when we don't want to do something.
So, I asked myself some questions:

  • Is this making life better or worse?  
  • Am I avoiding something or learning something?
  • Is it making me feel better or worse?
In being honest with myself, being online was making me feel worse. I felt as thought I was in a time warp and couldn't escape.  I felt overwhelmed, lonely, depressed and lacking in being a person.  So, time for a digital sabbatical.  I needed to reset my circuit breakers!

Taking time off was the best possible thing for me. It's all about self love! 
 I learned to relax, not compare myself to others and enjoy life.  I learned to listen-the birds singing, the quietness of water falling, the beautiful sounds of outside instead of always being connected.  I learned to actively listen to others instead of always looking at a screen.  But most of important, I learned how to connect with myself again.  Running has always been my outlet in my life but with my social media ambassadorships, I felt as though I was failing.  I started to compare myself with others and could never compete. I would never have enough time to train, enough money to attend races and events, even being an older runner felt awful.  So time off social media gave me a new perspective.  It gave me a chance to discover why I needed to step back and take time off.  

I learned to listen again to God and rejoice in His wisdom, strength and appreciate His love for me.  I realized that I'm worth it everyday of my life and even in my depression that there is no one like me in the whole world!  

I needed to feel good again about myself and my running.  And I do!  I will never be a fast runner again, have friends to attend races, have enough money to do more than a couple of race vacations a year but now I'm okay with all of that.  Taking time off and listening instead of constantly being connected allowed me to focus on me!

In rejoining our digital world, I have made a commitment to disengage every day.  I want to enjoy the simple things in life-reading a good book for hours, petting my cat, sitting outside with a good cup of coffee and enjoying the warmth of the sun while remembering you am I and what I am capable of doing good in this world.  

Do you ever take time off social media?  How do you manage your social media?  

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